The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is meeting this weekend, and marriage has already been mentioned several times. Via the NOM (National Organization for Marriage) Blog, during his speech at the CPAC banquet on Thursday evening, Jim DeMint, the president-elect of The Heritage Foundation, spoke about marriage.
And lastly: We cannot hope to limit government if we do not stand up for our core civil society institutions, beginning with marriage. Marriage is the foundation of America’s cultural stability and economic prosperity and the courts have no business overruling the people’s democratic decisions in the states. People can love whom they want and live the way they choose, but no one is entitled to redefine a foundational institution of civil society that has existed for centuries.
In two weeks, the Supreme Court will hear arguments against the right of states to protect marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Judicial activism is to blame for the Court even considering these cases. The Supreme Court should uphold these laws. It must recognize that the American people should make these decisions, not unelected judges.
We are told that the social issues divide Americans and that we should stop talking about them. We cannot.
Economic and social conservatism go hand-in-hand. They’re natural allies. Strong families, churches and voluntary institutions build strong character and economic independence. And government must always remember we are endowed by our creator with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is true for you and me, and it is true for the unborn. When government understands its limited role, it can be smaller, people can be freer and our economy can create prosperity for everyone. And when government grows larger with programs like Obamacare that consume so much of our lives, it tramples on both economic freedom and religious liberty. This has united conservatives of all stripes to fight to end Obamacare so we can all be free to live our own lives.
The NOM Blog also has video of Florida Senator Marco Rubio: Video: Sen Rubio at CPAC: It’s Not Bigotry for Me to Be Pro-Marriage
This morning Senator Rob Portman (R–OH) announced his support for redefining marriage to include same-sex couples. His reasoning? He found out in 2011 that his son was homosexual. Needless to say, that’s not making a decision based on reason, fact, history, and thinking through what’s best for society, that’s making a decision based on emotion and relation- ship. I understand full well the emotional anguish of disagreeing with someone you love—my brother was in the homosexual lifestyle and died of AIDS (I’ve planned on writing more about that next week). As painful as it can be at times, decisions must be driven by truth, not feelings. Frankly, I consider it to be emotionally manipulative of Senator Portman to make this announcement at CPAC because he had to have known to do so there would have maximum impact and publicity.
Ryan T. Anderson, who with Sherif Girgis and Robert George, co-authored What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, had an excellent response, Portman: Right on the Court, Wrong on Marriage (via NOM Blog).
Government recognizes marriage because it is an institution that benefits society in a way that no other relationship does. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means to ensure the well-being of children. Government recognition of marriage protects children by encouraging men and women to commit to each other and take responsibility for their children. While respecting everyone’s liberty, government rightly recognizes, protects, and promotes marriage as the ideal institution for childbearing and childrearing….
In recent years, marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view that is more about adults’ desires than children’s needs. Redefining marriage leaves emotional intensity as the only thing left to set marriage apart from other kinds of relationships. It puts a new principle into the law—that marriage is whatever emotional bond the government says it is.
Redefining marriage to abandon the norm of male-female sexual complemen- tarity would also make other essential characteristics—such as monogamy, exclusivity, and permanency—optional. But marriage can’t do the work that society needs it to do if these norms are further weakened. All Americans, especially conservatives who care about thriving civil society capable of limiting the state, should be alarmed.
Redefining marriage is also a direct and demonstrated threat to religious freedom that marginalizes those who affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman. We have already seen this in neighboring Canada and right here in places such as Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.
Those who hold positions of public prominence and influence should be held to a high standard of responsibility in their decisions. Politicians who bend with the wind and emotions rather than hold fast to principles betray the public trust. We as individuals must hold them accountable and “whichever way the tide may be running, whether it is at the ebb or at the flood,” continue to make our own decisions according to what is right.
Jozef Israëls, A Jewish Wedding, 1903.